In Traditional Oriental Medicine, all of the practitioner’s senses are used during diagnosis in order to help determine patterns of imbalance which may be causing sickness and symptoms in a person’s health.
As previously seen in Part 1, visual diagnosis was the first of four diagnostic examination methods described in the earliest textbooks of acupuncture written 2,000 years ago.
The second method is that of listening diagnosis. Although it is probably the least commonly used of the four main methods, it can still provide valuable information especially in helping to determine a person’s constitution body type.
For example, one aspect of listening diagnosis is observing the predominant characteristics of someone’s normal speaking voice. According to the Five Phase theory of Traditional Oriental Medicine, certain vocal tones or types of speech correspond to particular organ systems:
- Liver – brusque, commanding
- Heart – muttering
- Spleen-Pancreas – variable pitch, sing-song
- Lung – whiny, entreating
- Kidney – raspy, groaning
Most people have a mixture of all of these vocal qualities, but usually one or two tend to dominate their normal speech patterns and can provide insight into which organ systems might have a predisposition toward becoming imbalanced.
In addition, the way a person enunciates certain vowel or consonant sounds while speaking can also provide meaningful information about their natural body type.
Although never solely relied upon, listening diagnosis, when combined with the other diagnostic tools of Traditional Oriental Medicine, can be useful for determining patterns of weaknesses and imbalances in a person’s body which can then be strengthened and regulated through acupuncture and other treatment methods to help improve their health.